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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shtokman Field Seen 3 Years Behind

LONDON — Gazprom and France's Total will start pumping natural gas at their Shtokman Arctic field in 2016, or about three years later than they have estimated, consultancy Sanford Bernstein & Co. said Thursday.

Gazprom holds 51 percent of the Shtokman deposit. The state-controlled company, which last month picked StatoilHydro as its second foreign partner in the project, expects gas to flow as soon as 2013.

"Gazprom announced that they perceive the Russian Arctic shelf to be one of the most prospective regions" for new discoveries, Bernstein analysts said in a report Thursday. "Critics will argue that this project is technically impossible due to the remote Arctic Circle location."

"The LNG component of the project is aided by geography," they said. It "advantageously provides Shtokman LNG with the shortest distance, and therefore lowest shipping cost, from the lucrative U.S. natural gas market," except for projects in Trinidad & Tobago.